This spring The Gurnard’s Head hosts Cornish Still Lives, its third art exhibition following In the Cornish Light of Day in 2013. The exhibition features work by distinguished artists from South West Cornwall: Gillian Cooper, Maggie O’Brien and Martin Sadler. All are successful in turning the ‘still life’ tradition of quiet intimacy into bold and painterly explorations of Cornish flora, fauna and ‘nature morte’.
Living in Cornwall since 1999, Gillian uses the Cornish landscape as a trigger to draw, paint and print moments of transition, such as birdflight and the inflorescence of flowers. A more recent arrival in Cornwall, Maggie paints the wild and rugged landscape and wildlife around her in West Penwith and the Isles of Scilly. Martin works mostly in oils, using classic subjects such as lemons, vases, flowers and bottles. Like Gillian and Maggie, he also paints landscapes, and the wildness of the Cornish coast and sea often inspires each of these artists in their exploration of the interior world of the ‘still life’.
The Gurnard’s Head is a dining pub with 7 bedrooms located just 500 yards from one of the country’s most dramatic coastlines, one that has inspired artists for centuries. The wider area, including St. Ives and Newlyn has long been an influence to those on the Cornish art scene. The Gurnard’s Head will be open as normal from 9.30am every day with lunch is served from 12.30pm and supper from 6.30pm.
Although the exhibition is open from 24 March, the highlight will be an open house, Evening with the Artists on 4 April when the Artists will talk about their work and their inspiration. The exhibition is also the centre point of a new short residential package at The Gurnard’s Head (and sister hotel in Mousehole, The Old Coastguard), in which Gillie and Maggie guide guests around the galleries and exhibitions of St. Ives and Newlyn as well as giving practical demonstrations of how they work.
Charles Inkin, owner of The Gurnard’s Head, said “The resilience of the flora and fauna here in West Cornwall has been properly tested this winter. To see it presented so beautifully by these three artists might remind us that it’s a damned sight more resilient and long lasting than most of us humans”.
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